Monthly Archives: June 2014

La Roue (1923)

La Roue poster

English Title: The Wheel
Films Abel Gance
Starring:
 Séverin-Mars, Ivy Close, Gabriel de Gravone
Directed by: Abel Gance

Synopsis: An epic silent classic from French director Abel Gance.  A widowed railway engineer named Sisif (Séverin-Mars) finds an orphaned baby girl in the wreckage of a devastating train crash and takes her home as a sister to his young son Elie (Gabriel de Gravone).  The little girl named Norma (Ivy Close), nicknamed The Rose of the Rails, grows into a beautiful young woman.  But complications arise when not only Elie realizes he has carnal feelings for her but Sisif as well.

Kitty Cameo: When Sisif brings Norma to his shack by the railroad tracks in an early scene, he lays her in bed alongside his son, Elie.  On the bed with them is a kitten and a puppy, lying together in a deep slumber at the children’s feet in a picture of perfect contentment.

La Roue kitten and puppy

La Roue kitten, puppy and kids

Final Mewsings: Ah, the blissful innocence of youth.


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You Only Live Twice (1967)

You Only Live Twice DVD

United Artists Corporation
Starring:
 Sean Connery, Donald Pleasence, Akiko Wakabayashi
Directed by: Lewis Gilbert

Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: An unknown craft is snatching space vehicles from orbit, leaving the Americans blaming the Russians and vice versa.  James Bond (Sean Connery) is hot on the trail of the culprits, leading him to Japan where it’s believed the mysterious craft has touched down.

Cinema Cat: As you may have guessed, SPECTRE is behind the hijacking of the American and Russian spaceships, and where you find SPECTRE you find Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his white Angora cat.

You Only Live Twice cat

This time Blofeld finally shows his face (a scarred Donald Pleasance), yet his cat still features prominently as Blofeld is seen petting the kitty in every scene up to and even after the big reveal.

You Only Live Twice Blofeld's cat

When the forces for good burst into Blofeld’s volcano missile launching station, Blofeld carries his cat as he tries to escape (the cat is freaking out with all the gunfire and explosions going on, and according to one report online the cat actor was actually scared off during shooting and couldn’t be found for days afterward.)

You Only Live Twice cat scared

The cat eventually breaks free from Blofeld’s arms and while it does make it out of the first door with the others it is nowhere to be seen when Blofeld escapes on a monorail car.

You Only Live Twice Blofeld and cat

Final Mewsings: Only a truly evil villain leaves his cat behind to blow up in a volcano.


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Tales From the Darkside: The Movie (1990)

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie DVD

Paramount Pictures
Starring:
 William Hickey, David Johansen
Directed by: John Harrison

Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Based on the popular Tales from the Darkside anthology horror television series, this is a compilation of three different scary tales with one interweaving story to tie them together.  The three stories are Lot 249 (based on a story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), The Cat From Hell (original short story by Stephen King, screenplay by George A. Romero) and Lover’s Vow.

Bad Kitty: Our interest, of course, is in the second story titled The Cat From Hell.  A black cat is the focus of this story in which an elderly wheelchair bound man named Drogan (William Hickey), hires hit man Halston (David Johansen) to kill the animal which he is convinced has killed several residents already and will kill again.  As it turns out the cat seems to have a vendetta against the old man, whom it turns out has headed a pharmaceutical company which has killed thousands of cats in laboratory experiments.

Tales from the Darkside - The Cat

Kitty Carnage Warning! This is a horror story and one in which the lead actor is repeatedly attempting to kill the cat.  As such there are scenes of violence that we won’t spoil but we will go so far as to say the cat fares pretty well compared to the people.

Tales from the Darkside - Cat scream

Final Mewsings: Hell hath no fury like a kitty on a vendetta.


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City Lights (1931)

City Lights DVD

United Artists
Starring:
 Charlie Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Harry Myers
Directed by: Charles Chaplin

Synopsis: Chaplin’s classic comedy masterpiece about a Tramp (Chaplin) who falls in love with a poor blind flower girl (Virginia Cherrill.)  Through a series of situations involving an inebriated millionaire (Harry Myers), the Tramp is able to pass himself off as a rich man and help the girl without her knowing his true identity.

Kitty Cameo: At one point the Tramp is able to borrow the rich man’s car and take the girl home.

City Lights cat

As they enter her courtyard, a long-haired cat is sitting on a windowsill above the stairs to her apartment.

City Lights cat close

The Tramp bids goodbye to the girl and is savoring the moment, sniffing the flower she has given him, when the cat accidentally knocks a flower pot off the sill which lands on the Tramp’s head.  The girl hears the noise and comes to the window, giving the Tramp another chance to look at her.

City Lights cat knocks off pot

City Lights cat knocks pot off windowsill animated gif

If you look closely as the flower pot falls you can just barely see a small stick which was used to knock the pot off the sill.

City Lights stick seen behind cat which actually knocks off pot

Final Mewsings: Sometimes love just hits you like a cat knocking a flower pot off a windowsill onto your head.


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Today We Live (1933)

Today We Live DVD

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Starring:
 Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Robert Young, Franchot Tone
Directed by: Howard Hawks

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: The story of a British family whose lives are complicated by World War I.  Diana (Joan Crawford) has lost her father to the war and her brother Ronnie (Franchot Tone) and childhood sweetheart Claude (Robert Young) are sent to France to fight.  An American named Bogard (Gary Cooper) buys their family estate but his apathy about the war changes when he falls in love with Diana.  They eventually all find themselves in France trying to sort out their obligations and emotions with the war as a constant threat.

Purr Blur: At one point Diana believes Bogard is dead when it is reported he died while piloting a plane on a mission.  The film cuts back to the English estate where Diana’s housekeeper Eleanor (Hilda Vaughn) is sitting alone in the servant’s cottage holding a black and white cat on her lap.  Someone knocks on the door and Eleanor gets up and sets the cat on a table before answering the door to find it is Bogard, whom she is frightened to see, thinking he must be a ghost.

Today We Live cat

Final Mewsings: Cats don’t like their laps being taken away by supposedly dead American airmen.


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